This is it, this is the chance for the LA Angels to lose the albatross they’ve been carrying around all season. This albatross being the burden of playing in the powerful AL West with an underwhelming roster.
The problem with this LA Angels team isn’t the lack of talent, it’s the inability of the club thus far to tap into their own talent. The hitting has been on and off (mostly off), but can a home-stand against the Mariners give the Angels the strength to lift the albatross hanging from their necks?
The only team that is getting to the Angels more than anyone in the AL West are the Angels themselves. The lack of reliable starting pitching is one thing, but the hitting isn’t as it should be and that exact fact is what’s holding the Angels so deep in this muck.
Aside from a 6-1 home stand against the Rangers and Brewers there hasn’t been a lick of consistent offense from the Angels, aside from Mike Trout of course. Even in that 6-1 home stand, we saw Trout carrying the team on his back for the first few games of that streak before other pieces of the team starting rallying around him.
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The worst thing about all this is that it doesn’t need to be happening, but that right there is the problem. Most of the team is over-extending themselves when they need to be the most relaxed, as hard as it is to be relaxed in critical situations. We aren’t seeing many relaxed swings from Angel hitters at all, everyone is just trying way too hard to do their job.
This is the problem with the Angels, it all starts with one man and that man isn’t Trout. Other Angel hitters need to start doing their jobs regularly in the lineup in order to take pressure of off each other; once one man starts handling it regularly the rest of the guys have a small bit of pressure taken off of them. It’s a domino effect that sees the pressure lifting as each guy falls into his role instead of consciously trying to live up to their role in ever at-bat.
That is the kind of stress that kills hitters and I don’t know if it will get any easier for the Angels in the coming series. The Mariners pitching staff handled the Angels in their first matchup of the season and the hitting hasn’t really improved since then.
The Angels could barely handle Felix Hernandez and that’s a guy they’ve regularly performed well against, not to mention the fact that he is on the down-slope of his career which makes it look even worse for the Halos.
Asking for the Angels to bring it together all at once to stave off the Mariners is a tall order, but if we can get a couple of guys doing their jobs it will have trickle down effect and we’ll see the Angels hitters become more relaxed over time. I just don’t think they’ll be able to find that level of comfort within this series, all we can ask for is that the process starts rolling on.
Angels vs Mariners
(4/21) – 1:07 PM PT@ FS-W: Mike Leake (2-1, 3.86 ERA) vs TBD